Tens of thousands of glass cooktops sold under a variety of popular brands have been recalled due to the fact that they are apparently able to turn themselves on, posing a fire and burn hazard. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 26,300 glass cooktops were recalled this week. The cooktops have been sold under the brands Whirlpool, KitchenAid, and JennAir.
All of the cooktops were manufactured by the Whirlpool Corporation. Whirlpool said it has received 133 reports of cooktops turning on by themselves, resulting in 14 reports of fire or heat damage. Two cases of minor burn injuries were reported.
The glass cooktops were manufactured from December 2016 to July 2019 and sold at Lowe's, Home Depot, Best Buy, as well as other retailers from March 2017 through August 2019. Anyone with one of these cooktops in their home is urged to contact Whirlpool to arrange for the installation of a replacement cooktop free of charge. They are also being told to turn the cooktop off at the circuit breaker and to not leave empty cookware or flammable material on or near the cooktop. If you think you may have one of these cooktops in your home, visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission website for a full list of model and serial numbers of recalled cooktops.
No information is available relating to exactly how the cooktops are able to power themselves on. A product defect can occur at various stages. In some cases, a product is designed in a manner that inherently creates the defect. An example of defective design would be an SUV that has a tendency to roll over during normal use. In a case in which a product was defectively designed, a victim who suffers an injury due to a defect may be able to pursue a claim against the manufacturer. In other cases, the product becomes defective due to something which happens during the manufacturing, assembly, transportation, or sales process.
One of the more higher-profile cases of defective products in the last few years has been lithium-ion batteries, which also pose a fire risk. The most well-known product associated with these batteries was probably the Samsung Galaxy Note phone, but products containing such batteries continue to make headlines. Earlier this month, we discussed battery-powered e-bikes in California posing a fire risk. The ride-sharing company Lyft canceled their new e-bike program in San Francisco after multiple reports that the batteries in bikes were catching fire. Two weeks ago, the FAA banned certain models of recalled 15 inch MacBook Pros from aircraft. These laptops are not allowed onboard or in checked luggage due to the fire risk from the device's lithium-ion battery.